Gen. Yang Baibing Dies at 93; Led Tiananmen Crackdown

tags: obituaries, NYT, China, Tiananmen Square, 1989

BEIJING — Gen. Yang Baibing, a military strongman who carried out the violent suppression of student-led protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and was later purged because of fears that he was accruing too much power, died here on Tuesday. He was 93.

His death was reported by the official Xinhua news agency. A statement issued by the party’s Central Committee provided the sort of terse homage typically reserved for a disgraced political figure, saying, “He was a seasoned loyal Communist fighter and a proletarian revolutionist.”

The younger half brother of Yang Shangkun, a former president of China and a Red Army luminary, General Yang had largely been forgotten in the two decades since the paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, stripped the brothers of their posts out of concern that they were seeking to upend his succession plan with what some analysts described as a “minicoup.” Their downfall was probably abetted by Deng’s handpicked successor, Jiang Zemin, as he moved to isolate potential rivals in his drive to consolidate power....

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